Opinions Please

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by QC Lawn Services, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. QC Lawn Services

    QC Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    My business partner and I want to purchase 2 WB mowers for the coming season to increase our efficiency (we are both part-timers). In our area, most of the gates are 36" and therefore we need 36" WB mowers. We have JD equipment now and really like it, but they do not make a 36" WB with a floating deck, which from what I have read on this site is highly recommended.

    What I am asking is your opinions of the likes and the dislikes of the various types of WB mowers that you run. I am interested in cut quality, mulching, ease of use, pistol grip vs others (ie ECS, etc...), traking, manuverability, hydro vs gear and anything else that you may add. Obviously, I am asking the question, but I am sure that there are other LS members out there that can benifit from the experiences that you folks have had in the field with this type of equipment. I know it will help me. I am not tied to a particular brand, though we have be happy with our JD stuff. We have fairly local access to most brands, so that is not a problem. Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. mkwl

    mkwl LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,700

    Get a Bob-Cat mower!!! I have a 2003 Bob-Cat 48" belt drive w/ a 15 HP Kawasaki v-twin engine, and I love it!!!! It has a quality of cut and striping that can NOT be beat by any other brand!!! It is built like a tank, and I haven't had a single problem with it at all!!! My Bob-Cat has a fixed deck and does not scalp at all!!!! It has pistol grips, which are very comfortable and easy to use!!! I have a Grass Gobbler for it and it collects clippings extremely well!!! It tracks well and holds hills very well!!! If you want a machine that is truly far superior to all other brands in every way, than get a Bob-Cat mower!!!!
  3. TotalCareSolutions

    TotalCareSolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 518

    LOL...well done. Your checks in the mail.

    Exmark: 17hp, 36" Turf Tracer, Hydro drive, float deck system what else?
  4. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    A floating deck on a 36" wb is almost overkill unless you need to change cutting heights frequently. A 36 will rarely scalp anything and if you do scalp its got to be operator error. Most WB's have caster spacers which allow you to change the height a little with only a few minutes of adjusting. Of course you wont have the right pitch, but its a way to adjust cutting height.
  5. DSIM

    DSIM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 440

    there should be a ton of this info already on here. just use the search.
  6. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,218

    What DSIM said^
  7. QC Lawn Services

    QC Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    I realize that there is a lot of information out there on this topic, but the information that I am interested in is how someones opinion was formed about a particular piece of equipment. I have never used a WB mower bigger than a 21", so I have no experience with them. There are different control setups, what do people think of the ECS vs pistol grip vs the H-bar vs the T-bar. How easy is it to adjust the height of the mower. Those sorts of things. More of the details.
  8. newbomb

    newbomb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 391

    I have used walk behinds for 15 years solid now. I recomend the following.

    1 Get the 36" model (make sure you measure the gates you mentioned, the decks are usually about 36.5" wide. Be sure they fit). As someone already mentioned, you will rarely if ever scalp with a 36" unless YOU screw up.

    2 Most commercial 36" mowers are built heavy and are durable. Look at several and decide which one feels most comfortable to you.

    3 I recomend either a Kohler or Kawasaki 15 hp both are standard with most companies. The Parts for Kohlers might be a little cheaper, maybe. I recomend the 15 hp but I hear the 12.5 Kawasaki is plenty strong. You want enough power, you can always idle back the motor.

    4 I have both the pistol grip and t-bar styles. If you want the best control, get the pistol grips. Pistol grips allow you to control each wheel independently and manuever better. The T bar is great with a sulky in open areas, very fast. Also very important, I have always had belt drive units and love them for 2 reasons: Belts are way cheaper than a hydro pump and they are quick and easy to replace. Some people swear the hydros are better but for a two man part time operation belts are easier and much more user freindly.

  9. newbomb

    newbomb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 391

    In a nutshell, Look at the Exmark 36" Metro, 15 hp Pistol grips, belt drive. Scag is OK but heavier and more cumbersome. Every Dealer alive will have metro's on the floor and ready to go. The last one I bought was $2,560 on the trailer. I am sure you can get on this time of year for about $2,400 especially if your buying 2.
  10. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    I would get a hydro over a belt drive if I was going to spent the money. All the hydro mowers I have are very low maintance. All I do is change the filter every 500 hours. With a hydro you'll have instant reverse instead of putting the trans into reverse.

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